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How I'm Learning to Have Pride Without 'Perfection' in Eating Disorder Recovery

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What does recovery look like to you?

To me, recovery means filled pages instead of empty body. Filled life instead of empty heart.

It looks like ups, downs and fighting to ignore my sabotaging self-critic who craves “perfection.”

If you’ve struggled with an eating disorder, you may also be a strong self-critic. Your own worst enemy. A perfectionist who cannot be proud no matter how hard you may try.

Me? I was four years old trying to learn multiplication before school started. I always needed to be in control, prepared and “perfect.”

My disorder is my self-critic on hyper speed. My hyper speed self-critic makes it difficult to maintain a level head in recovery. In my experience, critical voices want to take control.

If you lapse in recovery, your self-critic — who seeks perceived “perfection” — may scream failure.

It may ask you, “Why keep going? Why should I be proud when I’m not perfect at recovery?”

Answer back.

I scream back at my critic, “I will still choose recovery!”

I choose recovery for myself. Tomorrow will be one step closer to freedom. I will choose recovery for myself today and in the future.

Pride can be an awkward feeling when you’re used to your self-critic being in control.

You may think, I can’t be proud because I’m not perfect!

I’m learning I can and should have pride in every single step I take. Recovery successes and steps sideways.

I have confidence in my journey — that I’ll be OK — because I choose recovery

I hope you do too.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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Thinkstock photo via ARTQU.

Originally published: July 17, 2017
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